extramarital sex
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Extramarital sex occurs when a
married Marriage, also called matrimony or wedlock, is a culturally and often legally recognized union between people called spouses. It establishes rights and obligations between them, as well as between them and their children, and between t ...
person engages in
sexual activity Human sexual activity, human sexual practice or human sexual behaviour is the manner in which human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species of primate, characterized by bipedality, bipedalism and except ...
with someone other than their
spouse A spouse is a significant other in a marriage. In certain contexts, it can also apply to a civil union or common-law marriage. Although a spouse is a form of significant other, the latter term also includes non-marital partners who play a social ...
. The term may be applied to the situation of a single person having sex with a married person. Where extramarital sexual relations do not breach a
sexual norm A sexual norm can refer to a personal or a Norm (sociology), social norm. Most cultures have social norms regarding Human sexuality, sexuality, and define ''normal (behavior), normal sexuality'' to consist only of certain sex acts between individ ...
, it may be referred to as consensual ''
non-monogamy Non-monogamy (or nonmonogamy) is an umbrella term for every practice or philosophy of non-Dyad (sociology), dyadic intimate relationship that does not strictly hew to the standards of monogamy, particularly that of having only one person with wh ...
'' (see also ''
polyamory Polyamory () is the practice of, or desire for, romantic relationships with more than one partner at the same time, with the informed sexual consent, consent of all partners involved. People who identify as polyamorous may believe in open re ...
''). Where extramarital sexual relations do breach a sexual norm, it may be referred to as ''
adultery Adultery (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in the lower Tiber area (then known as Latium) around pr ...
'' or ''non-monogamy'' (sexual acts between a married person and a person other than the spouse), ''
fornication Fornication is generally consensual sexual intercourse between two people not married to each other. When one or more of the partners having consensual sexual intercourse is married to another person, it is called adultery. Nonetheless, John Ca ...
'' ( sexual acts between unmarried people), ''philandery'', or ''
infidelity Infidelity (synonyms include cheating, straying, adultery, being unfaithful, two-timing, or having an affair) is a violation of a couple's emotional and/or sexual exclusivity that commonly results in feelings of anger, sexual jealousy, and riva ...
''. These terms imply moral or religious consequences, whether in civil law or
religious law Religious law includes ethical and moral codes taught by religious traditions. Different religious systems hold sacred law in a greater or lesser degree of importance to their belief systems, with some being explicitly antinomian whereas othe ...
.


Prevalence

American researcher
Alfred Kinsey Alfred Charles Kinsey (; June 23, 1894 – August 25, 1956) was an American sexologist, biologist, and professor of entomology and zoology who, in 1947, founded the Institute for Sex Research at Indiana University Bloomington, Indiana University, ...
found in his 1950-era studies that 50% of American males and 26% of females had extramarital sex. Depending on studies, it was estimated that 26–50% of men and 21–38% of women,Choi, K.H., Catania, J.A., & Dolcini, M.M. (1994)
Extramarital sex and HIV risk behavior among U.S. adults: Results from the national AIDS behavioral survey
''American Journal of Public Health, 84, 12,'' pp. 2003-2007.
or 22.7% of men and 11.6% of women had extramarital sex. Other authors say that between 20% and 25% of Americans had sex with someone other than their spouse. Durex's Global Sex Survey (2005) found that 44% of adults worldwide reported having had one-night extramarital sex and 22% had an affair. According to a 2004 United States survey, 16% of married partners have had extramarital sex, nearly twice as many men as women, while an additional 30% have fantasized about extramarital sex. According to a 2015 study by Durex and Match.com, Thailand and Denmark were the most adulterous countries based on the percentage of adults who admitted having an affair. A 2016 study by the Institute for Family Studies in the US found that black Protestants had a higher rate of extramarital sex than Catholics. A 2018 US study found that 53.5% of Americans who admitted having extramarital sex did so with someone they knew well, such as a close friend. About 29.4% were with someone who's somewhat well-known, such as a neighbor, co-worker or long-term acquaintance, and the rest were with casual acquaintances.According to research from the University of Colorado Boulder's Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, reported a
Extramarital sex partners likely to be close friends, men more apt to cheat: study
/ref> The study also found some gender differences, such as that men are more likely than women to hold more favorable attitudes about extramarital sex, and that among those who reported having extramarital sex in the past year, about 12% of men had paid for sex (or to have received payment for sex) compared to 1% for women. Other studies have shown rates of extramarital sex as low as 2.5%. Engagement in extramarital sex has been associated with individuals who have a higher
libido Libido (; colloquial: sex drive) is a person's overall sexual drive or desire for Human sexual activity, sexual activity. Libido is influenced by biological, psychological, and social factors. Biologically, the sex hormones and associated neurotr ...
(sex drive) than their partner.


Religious views


Christianity

Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of Jesus, Jesus of Nazareth. It is the Major religious groups, world's ...
teaches that extramarital sex is immoral and sin. Scriptural foundations for this teaching are passages like (KJV): In Christian marriage, husband and wife publicly promise fidelity to each other until death. Adultery contradicts this promise.


Hinduism

Hinduism Hinduism () is an Indian religions, Indian religion or ''dharma'', a religious and universal order or way of life by which followers abide. As a religion, it is the Major religious groups, world's third-largest, with over 1.2–1.35 billion ...
condemns extramarital sex as sin.


Islam

Traditional interpretations of Islamic law (or
Sharia Sharia (; ar, شريعة, sharīʿa ) is a body of religious law that forms a part of the Islamic tradition. It is derived from the Five Pillars of Islam, religious precepts of Islam and is based on the Islamic holy books, sacred scriptures o ...
) prescribe severe punishments for ''
zina ''Zināʾ'' () or ''zinā'' ( or ) is an Sharia, Islamic legal term referring to unlawful sexual intercourse. According to Fiqh, traditional jurisprudence, ''zina'' can include adultery, fornication, prostitution, rape, sodomy, incest, and be ...
'', or extramarital sex, by both men and women. Premarital sex could be punished by up to 100 lashes, while
adultery Adultery (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in the lower Tiber area (then known as Latium) around pr ...
is punishable by
stoning Stoning, or lapidation, is a method of capital punishment where a group throws stones at a person until the subject dies from blunt trauma. It has been attested as a form of punishment for grave misdeeds since ancient times. The Torah and Tal ...
. The act of sexual penetration must, however, be attested by at least four male Muslim
witness In law, a witness is someone who has knowledge about a matter, whether they have sensed it or are testifying on another witnesses' behalf. In law a witness is someone who, either voluntarily or under compulsion, provides testimonial evidence, e ...
es of good character, the accused has a right to testify in court, the suspect's word or testimony is required to hold the most weight in the eyes of the judge(s), punishments are reserved to the legal authorities and the law states that false accusations are to be punished severely. The former regulations also make some Muslims believe, that the process's goal was to eventually abolish the physical penalties relating to acts of fornication and adultery that were already present within many societies around the world when Islamic teachings first arose. According to this view, the principles are so rigorous in their search for evidence, that they create the near impossibility of being able to reach a verdict that goes against the suspect in any manner.


Judaism

The
Torah The Torah (; hbo, ''Tōrā'', "Instruction", "Teaching" or "Law") is the compilation of the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, namely the books of Book of Genesis, Genesis, Book of Exodus, Exodus, Leviticus, Book of Numbers, Numbers a ...
prescribes the death penalty through
stoning Stoning, or lapidation, is a method of capital punishment where a group throws stones at a person until the subject dies from blunt trauma. It has been attested as a form of punishment for grave misdeeds since ancient times. The Torah and Tal ...
for
adultery Adultery (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in the lower Tiber area (then known as Latium) around pr ...
, which is defined as having sex with a woman who is married to another man. Two witnesses of good character had to testify in court for the case to be even considered by the judges. Israelite and historic Jewish society was
polygynous Polygyny (; from Neoclassical Greek πολυγυνία (); ) is the most common and accepted form of polygamy around the world, entailing the marriage of a man with several women. Incidence Polygyny is more widespread in Africa than in any o ...
(one man could have many wives), so the marital status of the man was irrelevant. If a woman, however, is unmarried, a sexual relationship, though highly immoral and sinful from the religion's point of view, is not considered to be adultery, and therefore not punishable by death, but by lashing. Any physical punishments for any sins were in effect at the times of Judges and the Holy Temple. Now, any physical punishment is prohibited by Judaism—as no proper judicial process can be provided until the Holy Temple is rebuilt by the Messiah.


Law

Extramarital sex is legal in most jurisdictions, but laws against adultery are more common. In the United States, for example, Virginia prosecuted John Bushey for adultery in 2004. Other states allow jilted spouses to sue their ex-partners' lovers for alienation of affections. Extramarital sex is illegal in some Muslim-majority countries, including
Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia, officially the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), is a country in Western Asia. It covers the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and has a land area of about , making it the List of Asian countries by area, fifth-largest country in Asia ...
,
Pakistan Pakistan ( ur, ), officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan ( ur, , label=none), is a country in South Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, fifth-most populous country, with a population of almost 24 ...
,
Afghanistan Afghanistan, officially the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan,; prs, امارت اسلامی افغانستان is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central Asia and South Asia. Referred to as the Heart of Asia, it is bordere ...
,
Iran Iran, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, and also called Persia, is a country located in Western Asia. It is bordered by Iraq and Turkey to the west, by Azerbaijan and Armenia to the northwest, by the Caspian Sea and Turkmeni ...
,
Kuwait Kuwait (; ar, الكويت ', or ), officially the State of Kuwait ( ar, دولة الكويت '), is a country in Western Asia. It is situated in the northern edge of Eastern Arabia at the tip of the Persian Gulf, bordering Iraq to Iraq–Ku ...
,
Maldives Maldives (, ; dv, ދިވެހިރާއްޖެ, translit=Dhivehi Raajje, ), officially the Republic of Maldives ( dv, ދިވެހިރާއްޖޭގެ ޖުމްހޫރިއްޔާ, translit=Dhivehi Raajjeyge Jumhooriyyaa, label=none, ), is an archipelag ...
,
Morocco Morocco (),, ) officially the Kingdom of Morocco, is the westernmost country in the Maghreb region of North Africa. It overlooks the Mediterranean Sea to the north and the Atlantic Ocean to the west, and has land borders with Algeria to A ...
,
Oman Oman ( ; ar, عُمَان ' ), officially the Sultanate of Oman ( ar, سلْطنةُ عُمان ), is an Arabian country located in southwestern Asia. It is situated on the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula, and spans the mouth of t ...
,
Mauritania Mauritania (; ar, موريتانيا, ', french: Mauritanie; Berber languages, Berber: ''Agawej'' or ''Cengit''; Pulaar language, Pulaar: ''Moritani''; Wolof language, Wolof: ''Gànnaar''; Soninke language, Soninke:), officially the Islamic ...
,
United Arab Emirates The United Arab Emirates (UAE; ar, اَلْإِمَارَات الْعَرَبِيَة الْمُتَحِدَة ), or simply the Emirates ( ar, الِْإمَارَات ), is a country in Western Asia (Middle East, The Middle East). It is ...
,
Qatar Qatar (, ; ar, قطر, Qaṭar ; local vernacular pronunciation: ), officially the State of Qatar,) is a country in Western Asia. It occupies the Qatar Peninsula on the northeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula in the Middle East; it sha ...
,
Sudan Sudan ( or ; ar, السودان, as-Sūdān, officially the Republic of the Sudan ( ar, جمهورية السودان, link=no, Jumhūriyyat as-Sūdān), is a country in Northeast Africa. It shares borders with the Central African Republic ...
, and
Yemen Yemen (; ar, ٱلْيَمَن, al-Yaman), officially the Republic of Yemen,, ) is a country in Western Asia. It is situated on the southern end of the Arabian Peninsula, and borders Saudi Arabia to the Saudi Arabia–Yemen border, north and ...
. Indonesia banned extramarital sex in December 2022, but regulations may take up to three years to come into effect.Indonesia criminalizes adultery, but the law may take up to 3 years to take effect
/ref>


See also

*
Adultery Adultery (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in the lower Tiber area (then known as Latium) around pr ...
*
Extra-pair copulation Extra-pair copulation (EPC) is a mating In biology, mating is the pairing of either opposite-sex or hermaphrodite, hermaphroditic organisms for the purposes of sexual reproduction. ''Fertilization'' is the fusion of two gamete, gametes. ''Copu ...
*
Honor killing An honor killing (American English), honour killing (English in the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth English), or shame killing is the murder of an individual, either an outsider or a member of a family, by someone seeking to protect wha ...
*
On-again, off-again relationship An on-again, off-again relationship (also known as an on–off or off–on relationship) is a form of personal Interpersonal relationship, relationship between two persons who keep breaking up only to reconcile afterwards, thus repeating a cycle. ...
* Swinging *
One-night stand A one-night stand or one-night sex is a single Human sexual activity, sexual encounter in which there is an expectation that there shall be no further relations between the sexual participants. It draws its name from the common practice of a one ...


References

{{Authority control Sexuality Marriage Sex